In the spirit of the new year, I have a moodboard of images depicting Creation (with a capitol C) that I have been collecting. Once you see someone's visual interpretation of our beginning, you start to find others. I think they are so epic and weird. Excited to make things this year. 

Museum of International Folk Art

While in Santa Fe, New Mexico I had the opportunity to visit the Museum of International Folk Art. This museum has been on my radar ever since I discovered the work of Alexander Girard, architect, interior designer, furniture designer, and textile designer.  

Alexander and his wife, Susan, began collecting folk art (particularly Mexican folk art) starting in the 1930's. Many tourists have done the same, but Alexander and Susan Girard "recognized the aesthetic value of this art immediately". The Girard Collection at the Museum of International Folk Art is made up of over one hundred thousand objects drawn from over one hundred countries. When you step into the Girard wing of the museum, it's absolutely overwhelming. Brightly colored and immensely dense, the exhibit weaves a maze around dozens of intricately arranged dioramas. Textiles hang from the rafters and religious statues loom from above cases. It's a sensory overload, but in the best way. 

The definition of the term "folk art" remains vexing even to scholars in the field. There are two schools of thought: one where a sense of community (i.e. made from indigenous cultures) holds sway and the other in which individual creativity is heavily emphasized. In contrast to fine art, folk art is purely decorative and utilitarian. The interesting thing to me about folk art is that it seems to come from an uncorrupted urge (or call) to be creative, whether it be in clay, fiber, wood, or tin cans. I imagine most the artisans in the exhibit never went to school for art, and that is what makes their creative expressions so pure and true. 

On My Bookshelf: Contanti Auguri

This book was a speedy little charrette for Bruno Munari, only taking 7 days to design and make ready. It's a very light, compact book. How to use it? As the title suggests, "this little book is excellent to give your best wishes to relatives, friends, neighbours or anybody you wish. Since it is written in (almost) every language of the world, you will also have (almost) no possibility to make mistakes or blunders in giving it as a present to your most distant friends." 

The Hive Project

Tether's got some new hires working hard on the roof! Well, actually they're bees. Three hives were set up last month on the roof of our Occidental Park building as part of the Tether Grant Project. We are hoping that by the fall they should have a pretty sizable honey store that we could actually harvest the honey and share it with other businesses in the area. It's our effort to drive conversation about what it means to create and nurture healthy, engaged communities. Right now Daniel is our main beekeeper, but I am hoping to get a chance to work with the bees in the near future as the hive grows! 

If you want to read more about the happenings with Tether's bees on the roof, you can check out the Hive Project's site: